TPM News

Five teenagers have been arrested for disrupting religious services at a mosque in upstate New York after allegedly driving by the mosque during Ramadan services, honking their horns and firing a shotgun.

The five, who are all 17 and 18, have allegedly driven by the World Sufi Foundation mosque in Carlton, N.Y., during Ramadan services twice over the past week, yelling obscenities.

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The charges keep flying in New Jersey as fired Education Commissioner Bret Schundler (R) and Governor Chris Christie (R) continue to spar over whether Schundler should have been fired over his explanations as to why New Jersey lost out on $400 million in federal education funding due to a mistake on a grant application.

Who's telling the truth and who is just trying to cover themselves? TPMMuckraker looks into the charges and counter charges and breaks it down.

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Don't underestimate Republicans' desire to stymie or unwind the health care law. But not all of them are as committed to its demise as Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), who yesterday issued an executive order forbidding his state's officials from applying for grant money from the new law.

It turns out that seven of the states -- Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Nevada -- that have applied and been approved for subsidies to cover the cost of caring for retired state government employees are also part of a coalition of more than 20 states suing the federal government over the constitutionality of the health care law's individual mandate, which experts say is critical to the success of the policy. Minnesota's attorney general, Lori Swanson (D), refused to join to Pawlenty's displeasure.

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Ronald Reagan's eldest son, talk show host Michael Reagan, unveiled a brand new website this week: "The Reagan Report."

The Reagan Report has a handful of articles on healthcare or border protection, but the crux of the site (worthy of a flashing button on the masthead) seems to be getting you to sign up for your very own "conservative email address."

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If Social Security is "a cow with 310 million tits" then what's the proper metaphor for veteran's benefits? We don't know. But Alan Simpson seems to think they're too expensive. Or too overused. Or something. Anyway, it's bad.

"The irony (is) that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess," said Alan Simpson, co-chair of the White House's fiscal commission, according to the Associated Press.

Simpson was referring specifically to the disability benefits the Department of Veterans Affairs dispenses to Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

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The Office of Congressional Ethics, a semi-independent body that investigates House members on ethics charges and forwards its findings to the official House ethics committee, says the conduct of three members warrants further investigation.

The OCE has been investigating Reps. John Campbell (R-CA), Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Tom Price (R-GA) for fundraisers they held in the days before voting on financial reform legislation last December. The office dismissed similar investigations against five other members.

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Obama Opens Long-Shot Talks On Mideast Peace The Associated Press reports: "President Barack Obama is opening a new round of Mideast peacemaking, bringing Israeli and Palestinian leaders together Wednesday for talks aimed at forging agreement within one year on a two-state solution: a sovereign Palestine and a secure Israel. Expectations were low as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived Tuesday for preparatory talks with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has spent months coaxing the parties back to the bargaining table. The talks will be the first face-to-face sessions between the Israelis and Palestinians since December 2008, but the two sides are far apart on all key issues, so major progress in the early going is seen as unlikely."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will participate in a call at 9:15 a.m. ET with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, on the preparations being made in advance of Hurricane Earl. At 10:45 a.m. ET, he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He will meet at 1:30 p.m. ET with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He will meet at 2:45 p.m. ET with King Abdullah II of Jordan, and he will meet at 4 p.m. ET with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He will deliver a statement to the press at 5:20 p.m. ET. He and the visiting leaders will deliver statements to the press at 7 p.m. ET, and they will hold a working dinner at 8 p.m. ET.

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In a series of respected national polls this summer, great swaths of Republicans -- often encompassing the majority -- have shown themselves to be deeply worried about the prospect of Muslims gaining power in the U.S. and of President Obama's perceived connections to the faith. This isn't a fringy extreme or small but vocal minority. It's huge portions of the party that just recently was defending its use of the filibuster by pointing out all the Democrats who blocked Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s and pooh-poohed the idea of racial insensitivity among tea partiers. And now, lots and lots of Republicans across the nation are on the leading edge of an anti-Muslim paranoia that some U.S. allies abroad believe will harm American relations with the moderate Muslim world.

Meet the new Republican establishment: worried about Muslims, and worried even more that Obama might be one of them.

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